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An epoxy mount containing a sliver of a nearly 3.5 billion-year-old rock from the Apex chert deposit in Western Australia is pictured at the Wisconsin Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer Lab in Weeks Hall. | Jeff Miller
Earth

3.5-Billion-Year-Old Fossils May Be the Oldest on Earth

The conclusion, made by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and UCLA, suggests that extraterrestrial life might develop more easily than thought.

An example of one of the microfossils discovered in a sample of rock recovered from the Apex Chert. A new study used sophisticated chemical analysis to confirm the microscopic structures found in the rock are biological. | J. William Schopf
Geoscience professor John Valley, left, and research scientist Kouki Kitajima collaborate in the Wisconsin Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer Lab in Weeks Hall.